The Raccoon

Keynote: Dexterity and Disguise
Cycle of Power: Spring and Summer—Nocturnal

Raccoons are fascinating animals. They are distantly related to the bear, and thus it should be studied as well by anyone with this totem. The name raccoon is believed by some to come from the Algonquin Indian word "arckunem," meaning "hand scratcher." The paws are very dexterous. Raccoons can be expert at opening lids, latches, doorknobs, and such. It would not be surprising to find that individuals who are thieves and burglars have raccoon medicine, even though it is not being used positively.

Raccoons are fascinated by water, which increases the sensitivity of the raccoon’s hands, and they can feel their food better. The raccoon will eat almost anything available. It will capture small prey, but it usually eats mostly vegetables and fruit. This is something that those with this totem should also keep in mind.

One of the most striking features of the raccoon is the mask that it wears. Although some associate this with thievery, it actually gives the raccoon a very powerful mystical symbolism. The use of masks to achieve altered states and for other healing and ritual purposes has been a part of every society. Mask making is an ancient art employed all over the world for ceremony, celebration, and in magical practices. Just as there is with the raccoon, with masks there is ambiguity and equivocation. When we wear a mask we are no longer whom we thought. We make ourselves one with some other force. We create a doorway in the mind and in the physical world a threshold that we can cross to new dimensions and new beingness.

This is the magic of raccoon. It is an expert at disguise and secrecy. It knows how to wear masks for a variety of purposes. It can teach you how to mask and disguise and transform yourself. Each must develop the relationship with the raccoon in their own unique way, but raccoon medicine can teach you how to become dexterous in the masks you wear. It can show you how to wear a healing mask or show you the face you shall become. The raccoon holds the knowledge of how to change our faces. Raccoon holds the knowledge of transformation through masks and disguise. This knowledge can be applied to religious and ritual practices or within normal everyday life. Do you need to present a different face to people for greater success? Are you hiding your true self? Are others hiding their true self? Raccoon can help you find the answers.

If a raccoon has shown up, you may see its influence for an extended time. If you are trying to make changes or endeavoring to hide changes you are making from others until you are in a better position, plan on using about a 20-week cycle. You will find it more effective. For longer and greater life transformations and such, when raccoon shows up you may want to make longer plans.

Animal Speak, Ted Andrews